Last night I had a “moment.”
What is a “moment?” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it’s the dreaded feeling that hits you when you are by yourself on the couch (or in your car, room, toilet, wherever) and you start to reflect on your life and how it’s not what you imagined. All of a sudden you are not in the state you were supposed to be living in, you don’t have the car you imagined, the job you know you should have, or that significant other who was supposed to be snuggling with you in front of the fireplace in your luxurious townhome because it’s 25 degrees outside. It’s the moment where you look at all of life’s expectations, compare them to your present reality, and realize you’ve fallen short. You’re in last place. A failure amongst the sea of successful people. Damn, that’s brutal.
I had one of those moments and I was making myself feel really bad; like a pity party that launched into an all-out pity parade. Why was I doing that to myself? Why did I entertain these thoughts? I didn’t have an answer, but I knew I needed to stop. Yes, I, also known as me, myself, needed to stop this destructive pattern. It was so easy to point the finger at circumstances, situations, or even other people for these shortcomings but in reality all of this was in my own head and nobody controls my thoughts, except me. This was clearly a personal problem in need of solving. That’s when I knew I needed to treat myself.
Treating myself is a way for me to be kind to me to stop beating myself up about a hypothetical future and start enjoying my blessings. While I may not have what I think I want, I know I have a lot to be thankful for. This was the first step in my “treat yourself” plan. If I think further, all the chatter about me not being good enough is truly insane and I’m not alone- this type of negative thinking dates back to biblical days.
“Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness; they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future.“-Ecclesiastes 10:13-14 NLT.
I was being foolish because I can’t predict the future, but I can count my blessings! I have my health, a cozy apartment with free heat (THANK THE LORD because I am ALWAYS cold), a great family, food in my fridge, a steady job with good pay, money to travel, great friends…I could go on and on. When I think about all of these positive things my thought life transforms from perish to plenty, famine to feast, and I regain sanity.
The next part of my treat yourself regimen involved me doing something kind for me. Last night, I prayed and went to bed. It was the kindest thing I could do. Looking back, I was tired, cranky, and pushing forward with work as if I did not deserve a break. When I’m tired my guard is down and that allows for all kinds of foolishness to wreak havok; it can sometimes create even more problems. Going to bed worked for me, but there is a ton of other stuff you can do: treat yourself to a delicious meal, go to the movies, get a massage, talk to your best friend, watch a funny show or movie, plan a kick-a** vacation, take a hot bath/shower, or get lost in a sea of memes on the Internet; the possibilities are endless! Don’t just think about good things for yourself, actually do good things to yourself. Whatever it is, just do it!
Note that treating yourself doesn’t mean going into debt, being selfish to the detriment of others, or flaking on your responsibilities; it’s simply recognizing that you need to be kind to yourself. It’s a reminder that worrying about things out of your control, like the past or future, is “wicked madness”and ain’t nobody got time for that! It is having the courage to give yourself permission to laugh, to frolic, to be content.
In sum: Don’t be crying Batman, TREAT. YO. SELF.